Enlarged prostate, varicocele
Prostate artery embolization (PAE)
Urinary incontinence caused by benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH)
In men, urinary incontinence can be caused by BPH—a condition where the prostate becomes enlarged but the enlargement is not caused by cancer. A new treatment option is available as an alternative to surgery, and with fewer complications than transurethral resection of the prostate: Prostate artery embolization (PAE). PAE may also be performed in men who are not candidates for traditional treatment methods, such as when BPH is smaller than 50 cc or larger than 80 cc.
PAE is performed by an interventional radiologist using image guidance to thread a catheter into the prostate artery on both sides of the enlarged gland. The artery is then embolized to block blood flow, causing the prostate to shrink.
A varicocele is a varicose vein within the testicle and/or scrotum. Left untreated, they can cause pain, atrophy of the testicles or fertility issues. During the varicocele embolization procedure, an interventional radiologist uses imaging guidance and a catheter to place a tiny coil in a nearby blood vessel to divert blood flow away from the varicocele and into other, healthy veins. Just like with varicose vein treatment, the diseased vein will eventually shrink and become absorbed by the body.